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Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues



This paper explores four issues that have emerged from the research on social, cognitive and teaching presence in an online community of inquiry. The early research in the area of online communities of inquiry has raised several issues with regard to the creation and maintenance of social, cognitive and teaching presence that require further research and analysis. The other overarching issue is the methodological validity associated with the community of inquiry framework.The first issue is about shifting social presence from socio-emotional support to a focus on group cohesion (from personal to purposeful relationships). The second issue concerns the progressive development of cognitive presence (inquiry) from exploration to resolution. That is, moving discussion beyond the exploration phase. The third issue has to do with how we conceive of teaching presence (design, facilitation, direct instruction). More specifically, is there an important distinction betweenfacilitation and direct instruction? Finally, the methodological issue concerns qualitative transcript analysis and the validity of the coding protocol.
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
D. R. Garrison
University of Calgary
The purpose of this paper is to explore four issues that have emerged from the research on social,
cognitive and teaching presence in an online community of inquiry. The early research in the area of
online communities of inquiry has raised several issues with regard to the creation and maintenance of
social, cognitive and teaching presence that require further research and analysis. The other overarching
issue is the methodological validity associated with the community of inquiry framework.
The first issue is about shifting social presence from socio-emotional support to a focus on group
cohesion (from personal to purposeful relationships). The second issue concerns the progressive
development of cognitive presence (inquiry) from exploration to resolution. That is, moving discussion
beyond the exploration phase. The third issue has to do with how we conceive of teaching presence
(design, facilitation, direct instruction). More specifically, is there an important distinction between
facilitation and direct instruction? Finally, the methodological issue concerns qualitative transcript
analysis and the validity of the coding protocol.
While we have been relatively successful in identifying the properties of asynchronous learning networks,
a more in-depth analysis of the educational and transactional issues requires a theoretical framework that
can provide order and parsimony to the complexities of online learning. A construct that has attracted
considerable attention in higher education that serves this purpose is that of a community of learners.
Higher education has consistently viewed community as essential to support collaborative learning and
discourse associated with higher levels of learning. Moreover, the asynchronous nature of online
communication and the potential for disconnectedness has focused attention on the issue of community.
In support of this perspective, there is evidence that a sense of community can be created online, although
this is not a trivial challenge [1, 2]. It has also been shown that sense of community is significantly
associated with perceived learning [3, 4].
One of, if not the first, framework that identified both social and cognitive dimensions for studying online
learning was provided by Henri [5]. This work inspired Garrison, Anderson and Archer [6] to develop a
comprehensive framework as an online learning research tool (see Figure 1). The framework consisted of
three elements – social, teaching and cognitive presence – as well as categories and indicators to define
each of the presences and to guide the coding of transcripts (see Figure 2). It had its genesis in the work
of John Dewey and is consistent with constructivist approaches to learning in higher education. This
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
framework has provided significant insights and methodological solutions for studying online learning [7,
8]. The structure of the community of inquiry framework has also been confirmed through factor analysis
by Garrison, Cleveland-Innes and Fung [9] and Arbaugh and Hwang [10].
(Insert Figure 1 & 2 about here)
As we shall see, the quantity of research and our understanding of each of the presences have progressed
at very different rates. Each of the three key issues discussed here emerged from the online learning
research literature.
A. Social Presence
Social presence is described as the ability to project one’s self and establish personal and purposeful
relationships. The three main aspects of social presence, as defined here, are affective communication,
open communication and group cohesion (see Figure 2). Social presence attracted most of the initial
online learning research attention. While this may have been an appropriate and important place to begin
the study of online learning considering its asynchronous nature, much of this research was done
independently of cognitive and teaching presence. It is at the intersection of social and cognitive presence
where the primary issue of concern emerges. Students recognize that they are not there for purely social
reasons. A sense of community is based upon common purposes and inquiry. Moreover, social presence
is of less importance if the learning activities are information acquisition and there are no collaborative
assignments where students can benefit from the perspectives of others [11].
The issue addressed here concerns the nature of social presence and how it needs to shift as a course of
study evolves. As valuable as it is to establish affective communication and developing social bonds, it is
essential that the group feels secure to communicate openly and coalesces around a common goal or
purpose for a community to sustain itself [2]. Social presence must move beyond simply establishing
socio-emotional presence and personal relationships. Cohesion requires intellectual focus (i.e., open and
purposeful communication) and respect. For example, Swan and Shih [12] found that group cohesion is
significantly associated with social presence and perceived learning outcomes. It is argued here that social
presence in a community of inquiry must create personal but purposeful relationships. However,
developing personal relationships take time and it may be that we should be focusing on open
communication first. What is required is a clear understanding of how social presence shifts to support the
educational objective of the community.
It was Swan [13, p. 156] who first revealed the apparent shift of social presence over time in online
course discussions. She reports that affective and interactive (i.e., open communication) categories
increased while cohesive indicators decreased. The explanation was that it was “possible that the use of
such reference became less necessary as a clear classroom community was formed.” Another possible
explanation addresses the fact that the discussion was more exploratory than collaborative. Cohesion may
well have been a secondary issue under this circumstance. That is, collaborative tasks focused on practical
outcomes may well reduce the focus on the affective and emphasize cohesive comments to achieve a
successful outcome. Another consideration in interpreting these findings is the gender balance of the
sample. Two thirds were female. In this regard, Arbaugh [14] has pointed to the possible differences in
how male and female students communicate. This, of course, would be confounded by other issues such
as community development and nature of the task. To address these issues, findings need to be interpreted
in the broader context of a community of inquiry that concurrently considers social, cognitive and
teaching presence issues and variables.
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
Contrary to the nature of the shift in social presence reported by Swan [13], Vaughan [15, 16] found that
the frequency of affective and open communication comments decreased, while group cohesion
comments increased. The interpretation was that affective and open communication was necessary to
establish a sense of community. It was only after the social relationships were established and the group
became more focused on purposeful activities did cohesive comments begin to take precedence. Not only
did the focus change but it is hypothesized that because a sense of community was established, there was
less need for social reinforcement. Social presence online becomes somewhat transparent as the focus
shifts to academic purposes and activities.
It is important to note that the context of the Vaughan study [15] was a blended professional development
community. The participants were evenly split in terms of gender and were particularly task focused. In
addition, participants had the advantage to establish social presence in a face-to-face context. From a
research perspective, it is not clear how much influence the blended design had on the social presence
patterns reported here. Further study is required to understand exactly how social presence patterns
develop. Can social presence detract from cognitive presence? Do participants in a community of inquiry
naturally progress from socio-emotional connections, to establishing a climate of open communication,
and then naturally engage in purposeful activities (and cohesive comments)? Or is the progression from
open communication, to collaboration and cohesion, and then finally to personal relationships? Is the
online environment focused primarily on academic goals [9]? Is there a qualitative difference between
online and face-to-face social presence that we need to understand? Certainly, there is some evidence to
suggest that the face-to-face environment can more easily provide socio-emotional support [17].
Implications arising from this issue and related research questions have practical implications for
establishing and maintaining social presence in an online community of inquiry. Certainly care must be
taken to encourage social interaction and to provide structure and support early on. However, social
presence should not be measured simply in terms of the quantity of interaction it engenders. The purpose
of social presence in an educational context is to create the conditions for inquiry and quality interaction
(reflective and threaded discussions) in order to collaboratively achieve worthwhile educational goals.
While affective communication may be important, it is not sufficient for educational purposes. Personal
relationships and interaction must be defined in academic terms. Social presence for educational purposes
cannot be artificially separated from the purposeful nature of educational communication (i.e., cognitive
and teaching presence).
B. Cognitive Presence
Cognitive presence is defined as the exploration, construction, resolution and confirmation of
understanding through collaboration and reflection in a community of inquiry. The practical inquiry
model operationalizes cognitive presence and is ground in the work of Dewey [18] on reflective thinking
(see Figure 3). Four phases are defined in the interests of parsimony, but in practice inquiry is not so
discretely defined nor is it immutable [19].
(Insert Figure 3 about here)
The primary issue worthy of further exploration in terms of cognitive presence relates to the progressive
development of inquiry in an online learning environment. Cognitive presence is defined in terms of a
cycle of practical inquiry where participants move deliberately from understanding the problem or issue
through to exploration, integration and application. The issue revealed consistently in the research
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
findings is that it appears that inquiry invariably has great difficulty moving beyond the exploration phase
The question is why is it so difficult to move the process of inquiry through to resolution? Is this an
artifact of the inquiry model, the contrived nature of the educational context, the communication medium,
or perhaps it is the nature of the task and teaching presence (design, facilitation, and direction)? There is
evidence that this pervasive finding may have more to do with aspects of teaching presence, than it is to
the other possible factors. Meyer observes that integration and resolution is more demanding than
exploration and, as a result, increased time for reflection is required. More specifically, she states that,
“Faculty need to be more directive in their assignments … [24, p. 8].” Similarly, Celentin [20] concluded
that the reason discussions do not reach the highest levels of inquiry is “strictly related to the role of the
tutor”. Others have also speculated that the role of the instructor is a major factor [21, 23].
In another study by Meyer, she noted that the question initiating each of the online discussions
influenced the level of the responses from students” [26, p. 101]. There is evidence that the questions or
tasks “play an important role in the type of cognitive activity evident in the discussions” [30, p. 42].
When questions specifically asked students to engage in practical applications, discussions did progress to
the synthesis and resolution phase. Interestingly, it was suggested that confirmation did not come from the
group; the individual confirmed or rejected their own solutions [30, p.42]. If there are no shared goals
requiring a collaborative solution or artifact, the transcripts of online discourse will not reveal discourse
that has moved to the resolution phase. Individual reflection may take place and, if required, solutions
may be posted, but there will not be any discourse. Thus, in addition to teaching presence dimensions
such as facilitation and direction, as noted previously, well designed tasks are also important to see
evidence of resolution in a community of inquiry.
The importance of designing appropriate tasks to move students through to resolution is also reinforced in
a study specifically focused on online collaborative problem solving [31]. Where learners were
specifically tasked to formulate and resolve a problem, responses were distributed throughout all of the
five problem solving processes (understanding the problem, building knowledge, identifying solutions,
evaluating solutions, acting on solutions). In fact, “participants engaged more in problem resolution than
in problem formulation” [31, p.5] the converse of previous cognitive presence (practical inquiry)
studies. This speaks strongly to the purpose and design of the learning activity. If the activity is problem
or case based, there are clear expectations, and appropriate teaching presence is provided will
participants in a community of inquiry have difficulty moving to the resolution phase?
Progression requires direction. Vaughan [15] found that design and facilitation comments decreased in
online transcripts, while direct instruction comments increased. It is very important to facilitate and yet
not dominate the discourse and, at the same time, be prepared to provide crucial input to ensure that the
community moves to resolution. As a subject matter expert, relevant information should be interjected
and diagnoses of misconceptions are crucial to productive discourse. This is a delicate and challenging
balance of which an experienced teacher would or should be very cognizant. Educational leadership
comes in more than one form. From an educational perspective, the distinction between facilitation and
direct instruction may be worth preserving.
A supporting explanation and reason why discussions may get stalled at the exploration phase is found in
the group dynamics literature. The group dynamics literature has shown that groups do not easily progress
to the “performing” stage. Participants need to connect to the group and collaborative decision making
proceeds along four hypothesized stages – forming, norming, storming, and performing [32]. Groups need
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
clear goals and time to come together and function in a productive manner. The point is that groups do
not naturally coalesce and move to integration and resolution phases, particularly in situations where the
task and challenge is to make sense of complex and disparate information. Direction and facilitation is
required to establish cohesion and ensure messages are developmental (i.e., more than “serial
monologues” or personal declarations).
From the participants’ perspective, moving the discussion developmentally would be enhanced
considerably by enhancing the metacognitive awareness of the stages of inquiry and how this relates to
the particular task at hand. One suggestion is for participants to be metacognitively aware of their
contributions by requiring that they identify the level of the response. Pawan, Paulus, Yalcin, and Chang
[33, p.137] recommend that students self-code their postings. They go on to say:
The strategy would encourage students to keep track of and to think about how their responses
relate to the collaborative learning objectives set by their instructors. Self-coding their own roles
and responses may raise students’ awareness, for example, of the four cyclical categories of the
practical inquiry model.
Pawan et al. [33] also suggest that the instructor should provide direct instruction and model self-coding.
In this regard, it may be helpful for the instructor to provide a metacognitive commentary as to what they
are doing and why. This is clearly a teaching presence issue and challenge.
C. Teaching Presence
The third issue worth exploring is a validation issue. To be sure, validation of the community of inquiry
and its constructs is an important issue. However, the focus here is the teaching presence construct and
whether it has three distinct categories – design, facilitation and direct instruction.
Before we address the validity of the construct, it may be useful to discuss the influence of teaching
presence on the success of an online learning experience. The body of evidence is growing rapidly
attesting to the importance of teaching presence for successful online learning [12, 13, 15, 25, 27, 33, 34,
35, 36, 37]. The consensus is that teaching presence is a significant determinate of student satisfaction,
perceived learning, and sense of community.
Interaction and discourse plays a key role in higher-order learning but not without structure (design) and
leadership (facilitation and direction). For example, without explicit guidance, students will “engage
primarily in ‘serial monologues’” [33, p.119]. Obversely, “faculty may need to be more directive in their
assignments for threaded discussions, charging the participants to resolve a particular problem, and
pressing the group to integrate their ideas …” [25, p.8]. Murphy is clear “that in order for the highest-
level collaborative processes to occur within an OAD [online asynchronous discussion], there must be
explicit strategies or techniques aimed at promoting these processes” [27, p.429]. Similarly, Gilbert and
Dabbagh concluded that “the number and type of facilitator postings also increased the level of
interaction between students” [38, p.14]. They make it clear that structure and facilitation have a
significant influence on discourse.
That said, it is important to understand the composition of teaching presence. Whether there are two or
three distinct categories is more than a theoretical issue. It has practical implications for a community of
inquiry and supporting social and cognitive presence. A recent study questioned whether there are three
categories corresponding to the hypothesized structure. Shea [4] completed an extensive study of teaching
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
presence and online learning. After factor analyzing survey data of over 2000 students across multiple
institutions, it was concluded that a two factor solution was most interpretable. The two factors were
labeled design and “directed facilitation”. The latter apparently being the amalgamation of facilitation and
direct instruction. It should be noted as well that the directed facilitation factor contributed the most to
predicting a sense of community and learning.
The key point in this study is that this is the perspective of students. One interpretation is that students
may not distinguish between facilitation and direct instruction. This would not seem to be surprising. To
students this is a subtle distinction. Students do not come at this from an educational perspective and a
full consideration of the nature of critical discourse. From a teaching perspective, this is the difference
between dialogue and discourse [39]. Facilitation supports dialogue with minimal shaping of the course of
the discussion. Discourse, on the other hand, is disciplined inquiry that requires a knowledgeable teacher
with the expectation that discourse progresses in a collaborative constructive manner and students gain an
awareness of the inquiry process.
On the other hand, a study of MBA students did validate the categories of teaching presence [10]. This
survey of 191 students across multiple courses used an instrument based on the Shea, Fredericksen,
Pickett and Pelz [40] instrument. Thus, using essentially the same instrument and using a confirmatory
factor analysis, Arbaugh and Hwang “validated the three components of teaching presence as posited in
the … Community of Inquiry model” [10, p.16]. Beyond the fact that the teaching presence construct was
validated, the interesting question here is why this study confirmed the three components of teaching
presence construct and the Shea et al. [40] study found only two when both used virtually the same
instrument? One explanation may be the nature of the analysis. Another explanation may be related to the
fact that “all three components are distinct yet highly correlated with each other” [40, p.17]. That is, the
design (curriculum, goals, method) may have a great influence on how the students perceive other
components of teaching presence. Similarly, social and cognitive presences will also influence teaching
presence and how it is perceived. As noted previously, another explanation to these divergent findings
may be due to student perspectives. That is, undergraduates may not be sophisticated enough to
distinguish between facilitation and direct instruction.
The community of inquiry framework has provided a useful tool and approach to studying online
learning. The methodology to date can best be described as an exploratory qualitative approach to provide
“insights for the purposes of constructing meaningful propositions to be explored in further research” [8].
This research begins with a credible framework and, therefore, is not inductive theory building. To date,
much of the research could be best described as interpretivist, in that there is an attempt to understand
interactions through text analysis [41]. While issues of validity are relevant to qualitative transcript
assigning frequencies to the classifications is an aid in understanding patterns, this does not
make it a quantitative, inferential statistical procedure. We are in the early stages of
understanding and explaining the complexities of online conferencing and educational discourse.
The goal is descriptive, not predictive [8, p. 4].
That said, the question has been raised about moving the validity of the coding protocol to a quantitative
approach. Rourke and Anderson argue for a quantitative content analysis technique and question the rigor
of the research in this area. They frame the argument as description versus inference. Their point is that
much of the online transcript analysis is descriptive and at some point there needs to be a transition to
inference and “a richer definition of test validity” [42, p. 6]. Rourke and Anderson [42] state that if
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
researchers wish to proceed to the inferential, it must be done mindfully and with understanding as to the
steps required to validate coding protocols.
For purposes of discussion we make a distinction between the broad theoretical framework and specific
coding schemes, notwithstanding that they are intimately related. With regard to the validity of the
theoretical framework, other constructs have been proposed [26, 31, 43] that are not entirely dissimilar to
elements of the community of inquiry framework. It would seem, however, that the community of inquiry
framework offers a more comprehensive perspective capable of identifying interaction effects among
social, cognitive and teaching presence dynamics. There has been surprisingly little discussion about the
reasonableness and usefulness of the community of inquiry framework in studying online learning. A key
question is whether the three elements capture the core dynamics of a community of inquiry?
On the other hand, there is greater diversity of practice with regard to coding protocols [44]. The issue
here is whether the elements have been well defined and the categories are valid (representative of the
element). Do the categories fully describe the elements (i.e., presences) of the community of inquiry?
Should different protocols be considered for certain research questions? Shifting our focus to the
indicators, certainly the indicators must reliably reflect the appropriate category. That is, do the indicators
reflect the essence of the categories? Are the indicators of sufficient detail and range to be useful in
There is the question, however, as to why we would want to code at the indicator level? Coding at the
indicator level is difficult [45]. Is it not a bit premature considering the early stage of this research and
testing of the framework? What research questions would coding at the indicator level answer? How does
being able to distinguish among the indicators add to the validity of the model? Are indicators too context
specific to expect a standard set of indicators across all online educational environments?
Other coding issues are what unit of analysis (e.g., sentence, paragraph, message, or theme) should be
employed? While there has been some discussion around this issue [8, 46, 47] it remains a crucial but
challenging decision. Certainly the research question and context will influence this decision. The
importance of training for reliability is another important reliability and validity issue where more
attention would be beneficial. In summary, what is clear is that much work remains in addressing coding
schemes and validating the community of inquiry framework.
Finally, are we ready to emerge from the early exploratory and descriptive phase of researching online
communities of inquiry? The time may be right to transition to a phase that utilizes both qualitative and
quantitative approaches to studying online learning communities. The focus will likely shift to developing
and employing psychometrically sound instruments capable of studying larger inter-disciplinary and
inter-institutional samples over time. The foundation for this shift has been laid. Swan and Shih [12] have
developed a sound social presence survey based on the work of Gunawardena and Zittle [48] and
Richardson and Swan [49]. Arbaugh and Hwang [10] have validated a teaching presence survey
questionnaire based on the work of Shea et al. [40]. Preliminary items reflecting the cognitive presence
construct have been offered by Garrison et al. [50]. The theoretical framework and research to date would
support development of these instruments and their use to study online communities of inquiry. Both
qualitative and quantitative efforts will contribute to the refinement of the community of inquiry
framework and the categories and indicators of its elements/constructs [8].
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
The issues discussed previously are not just theoretical issues of interest to researchers. They have
important practical pedagogical implications. Understanding the role of social presence is essential in
creating a community of inquiry and in designing, facilitating, and directing higher-order learning. This is
not a simple one-off task. Balancing socio-emotional interaction, building group cohesion and facilitating
and modeling respectful critical discourse is essential for productive inquiry. As Baker discovered,
“instructor immediacy [i.e., teaching presence] was more predictive of affective and cognitive learning”
than “whether students felt close to each other” [51, p.1]. Some cohorts are academically focused and do
not need or want to engage in a virtual social space [52]. These cohorts usually have well defined
practical outcomes that are collaboratively based. As important as social presence may be, a community
of inquiry is associated with a sense of common purpose and cognitive presence.
A community of inquiry needs to have clear expectations as to the nature of critical discourse and their
postings. Participants need to be aware of the academic objectives, the phases of inquiry, and the level of
discourse. These educational challenges raise the importance and role of teaching presence. The
distinction between facilitation and direction must also be clear from a design perspective. Teaching
presence must consider the dual role of both moderating and shaping the direction of the discourse. Both
are essential for a successful community of inquiry.
The previous discussion raises many challenges with regard to social, cognitive and teaching presence as
well as coding and validity demands. While the community of inquiry framework has shown itself to be
useful in guiding research into online learning, the more we understand online learning the more we raise
other questions and issues (not unlike other areas of research). The goal here has been to begin
documenting the issues and challenges for others to address and built upon.
D. Randy Garrison is currently the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre and a professor in the
Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. Dr. Garrison has published extensively on teaching and
learning in higher, adult and distance education contexts. Dr. Garrison’s most recent book (in press) is
titled “Blended Learning in Higher Education”.
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Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
Figure 1: Community of Inquiry Framework
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
(examples only)
Social Presence Affective Expression Emoticons
Open Communication Risk-free expression
Group Cohesion Encourage collaboration
Cognitive Presence Triggering Event Sense of puzzlement
Exploration Information exchange
Integration Connecting ideas
Resolution Apply new ideas
Teaching Presence Design & Organization Setting curriculum & methods
Facilitating Discourse Sharing personal meaning
Direct Instruction Focusing discussion
Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues
Figure 2: Practical Inquiry Model
... This dimension is related to the different levels of connections and "presence" (social 2 , cognitive 3 and teacher 4 ) in the online learning settings as detailed in [18] [19] [20]. ...
... 2 Social presence is described as the ability to project one's self and establish personal and purposeful relationships. The three main aspects of social presence, are effective communication, open communication and group cohesion [18]. 3 Cognitive presence is defined as the exploration, construction, resolution and confirmation of understanding through collaboration and reflection in a community of inquiry [18]. ...
... The three main aspects of social presence, are effective communication, open communication and group cohesion [18]. 3 Cognitive presence is defined as the exploration, construction, resolution and confirmation of understanding through collaboration and reflection in a community of inquiry [18]. 4 Design, facilitation and instruction direction [18]. ...
In this position paper we argue that in order to design, deploy and evaluate institutional Personal Learning Environments, a system-level Roadmap should be developed accounting for the progressive expansion towards the following evolutions directions: from closed (VLE) to Open Learning Environments (OLE); from the individual-group, to individual-network and individual-collective relations; from using structured learning resources to using any type of content; from being instructor/institution-led by being self-regulated and self-managed; from being aimed at learning in the university system to supporting work-based learning; from being centered around web 2.0 to being empowered by web 3.0 tools and technologies. In order to accompany the development of such a Roadmap, an operational definition and hexagonal model of the PLE is presented in this paper together with its three-steps evolutionary process.
... The instructor also has an important role in managing the learning process and environment which can be done by organizing the course flow and activities, as well as providing a presence that helps to minimize feelings of isolation and disconnection among the learners, which can be done by personalized greetings, humor, personal experiences and relatable stories [41,83]. There are reported benefits of creating a strong instructor presence when designing online instructional experiences which prove particularly challenging because the instructor is physically absent from the learner and the instructor must make more intention to make their presence perceived as real or authentic in the learning environment [84,85] A study that surveyed online students revealed that students thought instructor presence was a critical part of their learning and they needed that learning guidance, timely feedback, and an instructor willing to listen and form connections [86]. There is also research suggesting that students value responsive instructors who meet their needs and give clear explanations of the requirements of the course, and students rank instructor modeling, clear directions, and course requirements as the most important aspects of instructor presence [87,88]. ...
... Research has also demonstrated the link between the instructor presence and student engagement constructs to factors such as timely response to questions, timely feedback on course activities, and video-based introductions and synchronous sessions [85,89,90]. The link between this theme and the student engagement construct on which this study is built is the connection between solid instructor presence and its impact on increasing student engagement and academic achievement, as this helps learners feel included in the learning community with shared goals and values. ...
... Social presence supports all three dimensions of student engagement, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive. When students connect and interact in a learning community, they are more active participants for behavioral engagement, feel connected and bonded with class peers for emotional engagement, and collaborate on problem-solving and complex tasks for cognitive engagement [82,83,85,94]. ...
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When the social distancing guidelines, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused universities to close campuses, there was a rapid shift in the course delivery methods of human gross anatomy laboratory sessions. Courses were delivered online, and this change created new challenges for anatomy faculty to engage students effectively. This profoundly impacted student-instructor interactions, the quality of the learning environment, and successful student outcomes. Because of the importance of student interaction and engagement for hands-on laboratory courses like anatomy, which rely on cadaver dissections and in-person learning communities, as well as the novel opportunity, this qualitative study sought to explore the faculty perspectives of transitioning their in-person laboratory sessions online and unearth their experience with student engagement in this new teaching format. The Delphi technique was used to explore this experience in two rounds of qualitative inquiry using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data, identifying codes and building themes. The study utilized indicators of student engagement in online courses to formulate four themes: instructor presence, social presence, cognitive presence, and reliable technology design and access. These were constructed based on the factors faculty used to maintain engagement, new challenges they faced, and strategies deployed to overcome these challenges and engage students in the new learning format. These are supported by strategies such as using video and multimedia, ice-breaker activities, chat and discussion features, immediate and personalized feedback, and virtual meeting via synchronous sessions. These themes highlight important lessons that faculty designing online anatomy laboratory courses can use to guide their course design, and institutions and instructional design faculty can use to inform best practices and faculty development efforts. Additionally, the study calls for further research to design a standardized and global assessment tool that measures student engagement in the online learning environment.
... Other studies show that the design and organisation, facilitating discourse, and direct instruction are three distinct sub-categories (Arbaugh & Hwang, 2006). Failure to control for factors and for the participant type have been offered as reasons for these divergent results (Garrison, 2007). ...
... The Community of Inquiry Survey Instrument is used across a number of disciplines (for example Bangert, 2009;Carlon et al.,2012;Díaz, Swan, Ice & Kupczynski, 2010;Garrison, 2007;Heilporn & Lakhal, 2020;Kozan & Richardson, 2014;Olpak Yağcı & Başarmak, 2016;Stenbom, 2018), and asks respondents to indicate their level of agreement to 34 statements on a five-point Likert scale (1. Strongly disagree, 2. Disagree, 3. Neither disagree or agree, 4. Agree, and 5. Strongly agree, as well as I don't know/Not applicable). ...
... This is surprising for two reasons. Firstly, Garrison (2007) pointed to the difficulty that students and instructors may have in implementing the integration and resolution phases of the PIM. Secondly, the use of video in the different OLEs examined here was relatively low. ...
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This research thesis reported on the findings of a three-year, three-stage mixed-methods study examining instructors' use of non-linguistic semiotic resources to establish a Community of Inquiry (CoI) in their online subjects. Seven online TESOL instructors and their students at three institutions in two countries were studied and their OLEs were analysed through the lens of multimodality. The results indicate a shift in CoI presences occurred after the delivery of a professional development intervention, though the non-linguistic semiotic resources that instructors talk about and those that students perceive as contributing to the CoI may differ. Furthermore, the aggregated results of the CoI survey may inform reflective practice undertaken by instructors. The overall findings of the study suggest that the choices instructors make regarding semiotic resource use reflect their beliefs and values in terms of TESOL pedagogy, modelling and the role of English in a global context.
... At the individual level, the faculty's technological competencies (Blayone et al., 2018;Martin et al., 2019), willingness or motivation to teach online (Adnan, 2018;Cutri & Mena, 2020;Shreaves et al., 2020), experience in online teaching (Horvitz et al., 2015;Saha et al., 2022;Scherer et al., 2021;Wingo et al., 2017), and overall pedagogic views regarding using technology for learning (Bruggeman et al., 2021;Kim et al., 2013) are identified as important factors. An instructor's ability to embed social, cognitive, and teaching presences is another important factor (Fiock, 2020;Garrison, 2007). Institutional-level factors include continuous training and faculty support (Alhomod & Shafi, 2013;Brinkley-Etzkorn, 2018); reliable and easily accessible technology (Alhomod & Shafi, 2013;König et al., 2020); management support and organisational commitment (Choudhury & Pattnaik, 2020;Tømte et al., 2019), and course design (Blundell et al., 2020;Raman et al., 2019). ...
... Individual factors:Adnan (2018),Blayone et al. (2018),Bruggeman et al. (2021),Cutri and Mena (2020),Fiock (2020),Garrison (2007),Horvitz et al. (2015),Kim et al. (2013), Martin et al. (2019), Saha et al. (2022), Scherer et al. (2021), Shreaves et al., (2020), Wingo et al. (2017) Studies that examined factors affecting online teaching in general but not those for successful online teaching in ERT Many studies focused on perceptions rather than actual behaviours for effective online teaching Models (e.g., TAM) were validated for expected situations, not emergencies 2) Institutional factors: Alhomod and Shafi (2013), Blundell et al. (2020), Brinkley-Etzkorn (2018), Choudhury and Pattnaik (2020), König et al. (2020), Raman et al. (2019), Rogers (2000), Tømte et al. (2019) Identified organisational support factors for online teaching in general but not for ERT The effects of overall institutional support or leadership were reported. However, specific factors inducing successful behaviours in faculty members were not identified 3) Macro factors: KERIS (2018), Latchem et al. (2008) Focused on how government-driven initiatives brought e-transformation Policies rather than the behaviours of individuals were examined Positive deviance 1) Conceptual approach: Herington and van de Fliert (2018), Marsh et al. (2004), Pascale and Monique (2010), Positive Deviance Initiative (2010) 2) Positive deviance in health and international development: Marsh et al. (2004), Pascale and Monique (2010) 3) Positive deviance in education: Iyer et al. (2021), Zaidi et al. (2012) It mostly explains positive deviance for solving prolonged social, ...
Full-text available
This study examines university faculty members’ successful behaviours and the factors influencing these behaviours, when dealing with the issues posed by emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data was gathered through interviews with 12 carefully chosen instructors who competently prepared and implemented their first online classes despite various challenges encountered during the crisis. Interview transcripts were analysed by applying the theoretical concepts of the positive deviance approach to identify exemplary behaviours in the face of crisis. The results revealed that the participants performed three unique but effective behaviours, called ‘positive deviance behaviours’, in their online teaching: philosophy-driven decision making informed planning and ongoing performance monitoring. These behaviours were affected by individual factors (e.g., community engagement and emotion management during different phases of emergency remote teaching) and organisational factors (e.g., networks/hardware and training/support). By examining the positive deviance behaviours of instructors who delivered effective classes, this study offers online teaching and faculty development strategies in both crisis and non-crisis situations.
... Blended learning is generally defined as integrating combinations of both face-to-face and online teaching in programs (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008), although also noting that the definitions in literature are described in different ways which are not always clear (Smith & Hill, 2019). The CoI framework is consistent with the constructivist approach to teaching and learning in that the students are active members of the learning process (Garrison, 2007). The framework presents three core elements, social, cognitive, and teacher presence, which are relational, interdependent, and connected to support the blended educational experience. ...
The higher education sector has learnt a great deal in the online delivery shift due to Covid-19, however, student voice has been underrepresented in literature. This paper reveals 15 student perspectives, including both international and domestic students, who were studying a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at one university in Melbourne, Australia, during heightened social distancing restrictions. The inductive thematic qualitative data analysis collected through semi-structured interviews showed opportunities and challenges of learning experiences. Emergent themes found affordances of convenience and challenges of relational and structural aspects of teaching and learning. Relational aspects of learning were more challenging, including peer collaboration, seeking informal advice and feedback from academics, and participation and engagement. We recommend the inclusion of student voice to guide post Covid-19 teacher education design recommend several areas of support to guide a humanising and personal connection into the remote learning environment.
... This goal should be started by providing teachers who know well how to use technology in classroom. Mastery of ICT requires the knowledge and skill in using it, to create innovations and even disseminate the knowledge for the benefit of society in general [8]. Educators who have the competency in the use of ICT will be able to meet the demands in the Minister of National Education Number 16 of 2007 concerning Teacher Competence. ...
... Esimerkiksi itsestäkertominen ymmärretään osaksi tutkivan yhteisön sosiaalista läsnäoloa. Kolmas ulottuvuus on ohjauksellinen läsnäolo (teaching presence), joka koostuu muun muassa vertaisvuorovaikutuksen edistämisestä, suorista toimintaohjeista ja pedagogisesta suunnittelusta (Garrison, 2007;Garrison ym., 1999). Eri läsnäolon tavat voivat myös ilmentyä rinnakkain ja samanaikaisesti opettajan viestinnässä tai opiskelijoiden toiminnassa (Gutiérrez-Santiuste & Gallego-Arrufat, 2017; Tyrväinen ym., 2021). ...
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Artikkelimme tarkastelee pandemia-ajan kielikeskusopetuksessa ilmeneviä ylipisto-opiskelijoiden vuorovaikutuskäsityksiä ja -kokemuksia verkko-opetuksessa. Tutkimuksemme pohjalta hahmottelemme suuntaviivoja kielikeskuksiin soveltuvalle tutkimuspohjaiselle pedagogiselle kehittämiselle, jonka keskiössä on ymmärrys verkko-opetuksesta ja viestintä- ja kieliosaamisen kehittämisestä. Artikkelimme pohjaa vuonna 2021 Helsingin yliopistossa kerättyyn opiskelijakyselyn avovastauksiin (n=512). Aineistolähtöisessä sisällönanalyysissä löytyi kolme keskeistä jäsennystä: 1) opettajan erilaiset läsnäolon muodot, 2) vertaisvuorovaikutuksen erityispiirteet sekä 3) vuorovaikutuksen kilpailevat funktiot viestintä- ja kieliopintojen verkkototeutuksella. Opiskelijoiden käsitykset ja kokemukset toivotusta ja itselle soveltuvasta vuorovaikutuksesta viestintä- ja kieliopintojen verkkototeutuksella vaihtelivat suuresti. Vaihtelu ilmeni sekä opiskelijoiden keskinäisessä että opettaja-opiskelijavuorovaikutuksessa. Ehdotamme artikkelissamme näiden variaatioiden systemaattista huomioimista opetustarjonnassa, opetussuunnitelmatyössä sekä erilaisten opetus- ja vuorovaikutusmuotojen kehittämisessä. Kielikeskuksen opetuksen kehittämisessä tulee hyödyntää niin viestintä- kuin kielitieteistäkin ammentavaa poikkitieteellistä ymmärrystä. Erityisen tärkeää on määritellä ja tunnistaa digitaalinen vuorovaikutusosaaminen ja kehittää sitä viestintä- ja kieliopinnoissa. Digitalisaatiota ja verkko-opetusta ei tulisi lähestyä vain opetusmenetelminä, vaan opetuksenkehittämisessä on johdonmukaisesti huomioitava työelämän teknologisoituneet ympäristöt myös vuorovaikutusosaamisen paikkoina ja tavoitteina.
... Students were required to participate in asynchronous forum discussions on the course website. They were divided into four independent internet forum groups (Garrison, 2007). Each week, a different pair of students, serving as student-tutors, who moderated the ongoing forum discussion, prepared two or three questions to initiate the forum discussion, to track and direct the ongoing discourse. ...
Full-text available
Our study investigates the effect of hybrid courses and reading scientific articles on scientific literacy of biomedical engineering students. Participants included about 100 undergraduate and graduate students who participated in one or two hybrid courses. Our research goal was to study the effect of reading scientific articles and participating in online forum discourses on students’ scientific literacy by investigating the students’ question posing skill. Research tools included pre- and post-questionnaires, analysis of students’ questions posted on the forum discourse, and research questions raised by the students on their scientific posters. The research findings indicated that students’ participation in the hybrid courses and online discussions improved their scientific literacy skills. This improvement is reflected in the complexity level of the questions posted on the forum discourse after reading scientific articles, as well as in the research questions they wrote in their scientific posters, increased as the course progressed. The outcomes of this study underscore the potential of the hybrid course format that combines face-to-face sessions with online discussions of scientific articles for biomedical engineering students. The paper’s theoretical contribution is that forum discussions may foster science and engineering students’ question posing skill, leading to improved comprehension of scientific articles they read.
... Then, the last construct that affects soft skills is teaching presence. Garrison (2019) suggests that teaching presence begins when the teacher designs, plans, prepares and facilitates learning before and until learning continues. The study results show that teaching presence has a positive effect of 11.1%, so it occupies the lowest effect on soft skills. ...
Full-text available
Students with academic performance and soft skills should be concerned with the learning process because it is a learning achievement. This research aims to find the factors affecting academic performance and soft skills. In this pandemic, learning is done online, so interaction between students and lecturers becomes limited. The quantitative data are collected by distributing the questionnaires. The population of this study is 2nd-semester students of the Faculty of Economics, Universitas Negeri Semarang (UNNES), who use online learning from the beginning of the lecture. The population were 900 students, with a sample of 276 students. Data were tabulated and analyzed using SEM-PLS. The results showed that cognitive presence, teaching presence, and social presence positively and significantly (57.9%) affect students' academic performance, and 49.1% affect students' soft skills. The order of factors that most affect academic performance is teaching presence (41.4%), social presence (31.1%), and cognitive presence (11.7%) whereas the order of factors that most affect soft skills is social presence (48.9%), cognitive presence (11.7%), and teaching presence (11.1%). It means that the Community of Inquiry (CoI) theory can explain the magnitude of the factors on academic performance and soft skills in the good category. It is suggested that the related parties to support students to achieve better academic performance and soft skills.
In order to explore the learning satisfaction and problems of the synchronous online teaching mode in an English comprehensive reading course during the COVID-19 epidemic period, this study constructed a synchronous online teaching mode based on the theory of community of inquiry and practiced it for one semester. The participants were 60 second-year English education majors, and the research methods were surveys and interviews. The study found that most students were satisfied with the synchronous online teaching mode adopted in this course; the synchronous online teaching mode helped improve learning outcomes; there were problems of distraction and lack of sustained attention in the synchronous online teaching mode. Based on the findings, suggestions were put forward to improve the learning satisfaction of online teaching, in order to provide references for enhancing the quality of foreign language online teaching and blended teaching in the post-epidemic era.
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The second edition of E-Learning in the 21st Century provides a coherent, comprehensive, and empirically-based framework for understanding e-learning in higher education. Garrison draws on his decades of experience and extensive research in the field to explore the technological, pedagogical, and organizational implications of e-learning. Most importantly, he provides practical models that educators can use to realize the full potential of e-learning. This book is unique in that it focuses less on the long list of ever-evolving technologies and more on the search for an understanding of these technologies from an educational perspective.
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“Social presence,” the degree to which participants in computer-mediated communication feel affectively connected one to another, has been shown to be an important factor in student satisfaction and success in online courses. This mixed methods study built on previous research to explore in greater depth the nature of social presence and how it develops in online course discussions. The study combined quantitative analyses of survey results from students enrolled in four online graduate courses, and qualitative comparisons of students with the highest and lowest perceptions of social presence. Quantitative results revealed significant correlations between perceived social presence and satisfaction with online discussions, and teased apart the respective influences of the perceived presence of instructors and peers. The findings indicate that the perceived presence of instructors may be a more influential factor in determining student satisfaction than the perceived presence of peers. Correlations with other course and learner characteristics suggest that course design may also significantly affect the development of social presence. Qualitative findings support the quantitative results. In addition, they provide evidence that students perceiving the highest social presence also projected themselves more into online discussions,and reveal meaningful differences in perceptions of the usefulness and purpose of online discussion between students perceiving high and low social presence.
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This study focuses on understanding the social and teaching presence required to create a blended faculty development community of inquiry. Garrison, Anderson and Archer’s community of inquiry framework was used to analyze transcripts from the face-to-face and online sessions of a faculty learning community focused on blended learning course redesign. All three categories of social and teaching presence were detected in both forms of transcripts. The pattern of social comments changed considerably over time within the online discussion forum. The frequency of comments reflecting affective and open communication decreased while those with group cohesion increased dramatically. A similar trend was not observed within the face-to-face transcripts. In terms of teaching presence, the percentage of comments coded for design & organization and facilitating discourse decreased over time in both the face-to-face and online transcripts while comments containing an element of direct instruction increased considerably.
This study compares the experiences of students in face-to-face (in class) discussions with threaded discussions and also evaluates the threaded discussions for evidence of higher-order thinking. Students were enrolled in graduate-level classes that used both modes (face-to-face and online) for course-related discussions; their end-of-course evaluations of both experiences were grouped for analysis and themes constructed based on their comments. Themes included the "expansion of time," "experience of time," "quality of the discussion," "needs of the student," and "faculty expertise." While there are advantages to holding discussions in either setting, students most frequently noted that using threaded discussions increased the amount of time they spent on class objectives and that they appreciated the extra time for reflection on course issues. The face-to-face format also had value as a result of its immediacy and energy, and some students found one mode a better "fit" with their preferred learning mode. The analysis of higher-order thinking was based on a content analysis of the threaded discussions only. Each posting was coded as one of the four cognitive-processing categories described by Garrison and colleagues [1]: 18% were triggering questions, 51% were exploration, 22% were integration, and 7% resolution. A fifth category - social - was appropriate for 3% of the responses and only 12% of the postings included a writing error. This framework provides some support for the assertion that higher-order thinking can and does occur in online discussions; strategies for increasing the number of responses in the integration and resolution categories are discussed.
This study uses four different "frames" to analyze 17 online discussions that occurred in two doctorallevel classes in educational leadership. Two of the frames were developmental models: King and Kitchener's Reflective Judgment Model and Perry's model of intellectual and ethical development. Two of the frames captured levels of thinking: Garrison's four-stage critical-thinking model and Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. Of the 278 individual postings, 45.3% were at levels five through seven of the King and Kitchener model, 100% were at levels five through nine of the Perry model, 52.2% were at the two highest levels of the Garrison model, and 54.3% were at levels four through six in Bloom's taxonomy. These results seem appropriate to the level of response expected of doctoral students. For each frame, the analysis resulted in additional findings. The study concludes that each frame has value and focuses attention on different aspects of the student's thinking as evidenced in his/her posting to an online discussion; however, some frames are more difficult to use than others, which argues for specific training and/or tailoring the topic of discussions to address issues in a particular manner. Lastly, the question initiating each of the online discussions influenced the level of the responses from students. Each frame has the potential to illumine students' online discussions, although using multiple frames may have more benefit than using any one frame exclusively.